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Post Office Sets Holiday Deadlines

December 1, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The post office is gearing up to handle a huge crush of holiday mail, and the sooner folks get items in the system, the better.

The U.S. Postal Service no longer sets mailing deadlines for domestic cards and letters, but it expects Monday, Dec. 13, to be its busiest day as Americans drop a weekend’s worth of completed holiday cards into the corner mailbox.

Postal vice president Nicholas Barranca urged that packages going by regular parcel post be mailed in the first week of December. Priority mail can be sent through Dec. 20, and after that Express Mail should be used, he suggested.

For material going overseas by surface mail, most deadlines already are past.

Parcel airlift military mail headed for APO and FPO addresses with ZIP codes beginning with the numbers 090-098, 340 and 962-966 should be sent by Friday, priority and first-class cards and letters by Dec. 10.

Recommended deadlines for overseas civilian Christmas mail:

_Thursday: Air cards and letters and air parcel post to Africa and Central and South America.

_Dec. 9: Air cards and letters and air parcel post to Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East.

_Dec. 13: Air cards and letters and air parcel post to Canada and Mexico.

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